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Friday, 30 July 2021

Rescue dog Charlie is on paw patrol with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit

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A springer spaniel who was handed in to Dogs Trust Leeds as an unwanted puppy has started a new life in law enforcement, having passed his training to be a specialist police dog.

One-year-old Charlie’s owners gave him up when he was five months old after realising they weren’t ready for a dog. But just a few weeks after arriving at the rehoming centre in Leeds, the spritely spaniel caught the eye of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit who saw his potential to be a Drugs, Cash and Weapons (DCW) dog.

DCW dogs need to be bold and busy dogs who love to play. They need to be determined and inquisitive. The police often chooses Spaniels and Labradors for the role as they usually display all these characteristics.

After meeting Charlie at Dogs Trust Leeds, the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit adopted him and began his training to become a specialist police dog. Inspector Iain Clark, from the BCH Dog Unit, said:

“Charlie is a very happy and busy dog who just loves to play. The DCW training is all based on play and reward, so as soon as Charlie finds what he is looking for and let’s us know, he gets a treat – to play with his favourite toy.

“Technically Charlie is working for us, but to him it’s all playtime and he thrives on it.”

Police dogs “get to play and be with someone all day”

Having passed his six-week training programme, Charlie now works with his handler in the combined forces dog unit, going along to crime scenes to help sniff out drugs, cash and weapons.

Once his shift finishes, Charlie goes home with his handler to put his paws up after a busy day of play. On his rest days, he spends some quality time with his handler and their family.

Inspector Clark added:

“The life of a police dog is very different to what many people imagine. Dogs like Charlie live and work with the same handler day in, day out, and all our handlers are dog-lovers first and foremost.

“It’s really a very good life, where the dogs get to play and be with someone all day, while also doing an important job on behalf of the police.”

Amanda Sands, rehoming centre manager at Dogs Trust Leeds said:

“We are delighted to see that Charlie’s energy and enthusiasm is being put to good use and that we have been able to change his tale from unwanted puppy to specialist police dog. Charlie is a lovely dog who likes to keep busy, so this role with the police really suits him down to the ground.

“And with a loving family to go back to at night too, it sounds like he’s really landed on his paws.”

Dogs Trust rehoming centres in England are currently closed to members of the public, but it is still able to rehome some of its dogs, using the Dogs Trust socially distanced ‘handover at home’ process.

If you have space in your heart to give a dog a new home, now and after lockdown, check out the Dogs Trust website to see who’s up for adoption.

The Dogs Trust estimates that up to 40,000 more dogs could need support as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Experience tells it that many dog owners will face the heartbreaking decision to give up their dog.

To see how you can help, please visit Change the tale. Together, with the support of the public, the Dogs Trust can ‘Change the Tale’ for more dogs like Charlie.

Charlie the rehomed rescue dog off shift Image Dogs Trust
Charlie the rehomed rescue dog off shift Image Dogs Trust

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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